Cumberland Times-News

David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith

June 26, 2008

Listen to God's still voice: 'You can do it'

It was the same day that I rappelled off the tower that I climbed up its rock wall side. I had come to the conclusion that a near-50- year-old man need not prove himself anymore, when a voice in my head said, "Do it anyway!"

Charley, a female counselor, was on belay for me as I began my ascent. At the 15-foot mark, I was telling myself that the earlier voice I heard in my head was mistaken and I should quit. At that moment I was just about ready to tell Charley I was done and coming down.

Charley, in a soft-spoken voice said, "Keep going Pastor David, you can do it." I rolled my eyes and decided to move on. In what seemed like 15 minutes later I had climbed 10 more feet. By now, my limited arm muscles were screaming that they were on fire and that I should put them out.

"Be finished with this craziness. Quit!" The voice shouted. I called down, "Charley." "I know you can do it," came the soft reply. It was at that moment my stubborn side kicked in and determined that nothing less than the top would do.

This incident did remind me, however, how loud the voices in the world shout to do wrong and give up our desire to do the right things. TV, music, movies, magazines, peer pressure all combine to fill our minds with meaningless noise. What keeps us going is the still small voice of God in the back of our minds that says, "You can do it. You can make the right decision." God is using his church to help his children be sensitive to that still small voice even in such a deafening world.

As for the rock wall, I did make it to the top and credited Charley for inspiring me to do so. The downside is that my hands were so cramped and tired, I could barely hold a fork at dinner. I was just about ready to give up feeding myself when I heard a familiar voice, "You can do it, Pastor David." What do you know? She was right again.

David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.

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David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith
  • Don't just go to church, be the church We are in the middle of the summer Olympics and one can't help but root for the U.S. of A. (that is if you're from here, of course). I've watched some rowing, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, and basketball and find it an extraordinary opportunity to see such gifted athletes gathered together in one place competing at such a high level in the most popular sports in the world.

    August 14, 2008

  • Make right choice with church On a recent visit to Tennessee, I spoke with the wife of a Christian camp director and she related this story to me. Her husband bought her an ipod Shuffle (one of the really little ones) for a birthday present.

    August 7, 2008

  • Join with God in his church July is a month that many people head to the beach or to a park to enjoy a summer vacation. As I think about my own recent vacation, I am reminded of a practical joke I played on my wife.

    July 24, 2008

  • Seek God, his kingdom, rest will fall into place On a recent shopping outing I was asked an interesting question. As we checked out, the cashier at the department store asked, "Did you find everything okay?"

    July 17, 2008

  • Bible School puts back what is easily lost Have you ever noticed how many food products are "enriched" with vitamins and minerals? Actually, the term might be "re"-enriched because much of the nutritional value of foods such as bread is depleted when it is processed to give it longer shelf life. Vitamins and nutrients that are lost in this manufacturing processing are restored.

    July 3, 2008

  • Listen to God's still voice: 'You can do it' It was the same day that I rappelled off the tower that I climbed up its rock wall side. I had come to the conclusion that a near-50- year-old man need not prove himself anymore, when a voice in my head said, "Do it anyway!"

    June 26, 2008

  • You should be real sure about going to heaven I recently returned from east Tennessee after speaking for a week at a youth camp. While there, I tried to get to know the young people and participate in many of the activities with them. Tubing on the lake, swimming, rappelling, rock wall climbing, and riding go-carts all combined to make it a truly exhausting work week.

    June 19, 2008

  • God looking for children love him Sunday is Father's Day and the television is filled with advertisements for potential gifts that seem to follow two lines of thinking. One line of gifts I've particularly noticed are handyman type gifts.

    June 12, 2008

  • Christians also have a natural enemy - Satan My garden plantings are growing like weeds. Oh, wait a minute, that one was a weed. A closer inspection reveals that something is gnawing on my plants. The leaves are missing on some of the vegetation and I suspect a wabbit! I asked my wife if rabbits had any natural enemies. She said, "Elmer Fudd." She's no help at all.

    June 5, 2008

  • Ready soil of heart to hear word of God I was working in my garden the other day. Well, it's not really a garden as much as a patch. Actually, patch may be stretching it a bit also. Perhaps bed is the most accurate rendering. A twin size bed to be exact.

    May 29, 2008

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